I missed this one, a little way back but, now it has found its way to my system, I’m struggling to take it off! The Bluesbones have been around a few years(since 2011), operating out of Belgium, and they have six studio albums and 1 live album to their credit. The last album, the live set, was highly successful, so they decided to record ‘Unchained’ in as live a method as possible – one take , minimal after-treatment and all in the same studio at the same time. I have to say that I am a big fan of music recorded ‘live in the studio’ as it allows the musicians to act and react with each other, all the visual clues between musicians that lead to changes are intact and the music tends to be more intense and harmonic.
As to what The Bluesbones are, I guess you would say that they are a Blues band, one that covers all the different elements of Blues/rock. They don’t have anything about them that is unique, nothing you haven’t heard before. But sometimes, when the playing is good enough, you can just be happy to enjoy the standard of music that they make. And this is certainly a very high standard. All of the band are highly able - Geert Boeckx (bass), and Jens Roelandt (drums) are a powerful and fluid heartbeat for the music while Stef Paglia (guitar) and Edwin Risbourg (Hammond) are experienced and emotive players – Paglia’s solos are quite excellent. Which leads to Nico De Cock (vocals), once I got past his slight accent, I found a singer who carried soul and emotion, even in his 2nd(?) language, as well as anyone I’ve heard this year.
Although every song stands on its own merits, you can find a returning theme of transition, redemption and life changing events. This translates into the title ‘Unchained’.
Definitely one for my top ten of Blues albums this year